Council to mark Merchant Navy Day

Hartlepool Borough Council will show its support for seafarers by flying the Red Ensign to mark Merchant Navy Day.

Councillor Brian Cowie, the Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool, will raise the ‘Red Duster’, as it is affectionately known, in a special ceremony in front of Civic Centre on Friday 2nd September at 10am and the flag will remain flying for Merchant Navy Day itself, which this year falls on Saturday.

Also taking part in the ceremony will be the Mayoress Councillor Veronica Nicholson, the Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council Councillor Shane Moore, the Council’s Managing Director Denise McGuckin, Petty Officer Jane Fox, Commanding Officer of Hartlepool Sea Cadets, and some of the Sea Cadets themselves.

Councillor Cowie said: “During the two world wars our seafarers showed outstanding courage in their vital role of keeping our country and its allies supplied with food and equipment.

“In doing so they faced not only the enemy but also savage sea and weather conditions.

“Many of them made the ultimate sacrifice – by the end of the First World War more than 3,000 British-flagged merchant and fishing vessels had been sunk and nearly 15,000 merchant seafarers had died. During the Second World War, 4,700 British-flagged ships were sunk and more than 29,000 merchant seafarers had lost their lives.

“Our massive debt of gratitude to the men and women of the Merchant Navy continues right up to the present day, as they are responsible for transporting a staggering 95% of our island’s trade.

“We are immensely proud to pay tribute to the men and women of the Merchant Navy, past and present.”


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